Monarchs Battle for First Place
Silver Spring, MD – Real Maryland FC suffered their first home loss of the season with a 3-2 finish today against the Harrisburg City Islanders. The teams sat one and two on the top of the table and at the end of the day, Harrisburg held their position in a fierce battle.
The Islanders got on the board quickly when they put away a 3rd minute penalty kick. The ball was placed just past Monarch keeper David Kern’s outstretched arms, off the post and into the side netting. After the first opportunity, neither team created many chances on net as the game was played mostly in the midfield. When play began to settle, the Monarchs showed some of their best ball possession of the early season. Going into the locker room the score remained 1-0.
The Monarchs started the second half strong with a Marc Harold-Gracien goal in the 55th minute. Following a couple of one-touch passes through the midfield, Gracien was put through by Lawany Cartaya. Gracien managed to stay in advance of the defender with his speed. The finish came from a chip from the outside of his left foot over the on-rushing GK Chase Harrison where the ball made its way into the far side netting.
Ten minutes later the Islanders countered on a Shiplaney break away goal that just beat Kern. The game winner came in the 72nd minute when Shiplaney put in his second of the day.
Trailing 3-1, the Monarchs continued with high intensity play and refused to go down. Lawany Cartaya would be sent off in the 79th minute from a straight red. The sides were evened up three minutes later when the Islanders had a man ejected from the match with a red card as well.
Real Maryland's persistence and strong play would pay off in the 90th minute when they were able to bring one back on a Tom Taylor free kick that was placed perfectly into the right upper 90. The Monarchs battled to the final whistle with one last on-rush from a flicked on service by Jimmy Stevens. The Islanders’ keeper scooped up the loose ball in the area and saw the game come to an end.
The Monarchs will play their next match at Western Mass on June 6th at 7:30 in Lusitano Stadium. Real Maryland FC will be back in action at home after next weekend on a rare Tuesday night match. The Tuesday night match will see the start of the First Round of the U.S. Open Cup. The Monarchs will host the Aegean Hawks at Richard Montgomery High School on June 9th at 6 pm.
Real Maryland FC participates in the Second Division of the United Soccer Leagues. All 2009 Regular Season Home Games will be played at Lester Stadium at Richard Montgomery High School in Rockville, MD. For more information or tickets, please visit realmaryland.us or contact General Manager David Noyes at (301) 933-6460.
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